On Air Now Non Stop Music Midnight - 6:00am The Script - The Man Who Can't Be Moved Schedule

Future Of Military Road Under The Spotlight As Group Leaders Urge Policy Rethink

Senior group leaders are urging the Isle of Wight Council to overturn a 14-year-old policy which could hinder the future of the Military Road.

It comes as voids and cliff falls next to the iconic coastal route, stretching between Chale and Freshwater, have brought forward public concerns about how long the road has left.

Cllrs Clare Mosdell and Chris Jarman, respective leaders of the Conservative group and Empowering Islanders at County Hall, are trying to find a way forward to challenge the ‘no active intervention’ policy currently in place.

The policy is part of the Isle of Wight Council’s Shoreline Management Plan which was produced in partnership with the Environment Agency in 2010 and means nothing should be done to stop coastal erosion.

As part of the policy, there is no investment in coastal defences and the plan proposed was to abandon the current A3055 and re-route it.

Prior to Shoreline Management Plan, the council’s approach was also to ‘do nothing’ in that area of the Island.

To realign the Military Road could cost upwards of £20 million, Isle of Wight Council leader Phil Jordan has said, and the government has been approached about any possible funding opportunities.

Last year, plans from Island Roads to shore up a section of coastline between Brook and Hanover Point were refused due to the negative impact it could have on the landscape and protected habitats.

Now Cllrs Jarman and Mosdell have called for the council to overturn the 2010 policy and, in conjunction with agencies and land owners, make a definitive plan to provide a sustainable solution to maintaining the present and long-term future viability of the Military Road.

Speaking at a meeting last week, Cllr Mosdell said the council cannot move forward with any prospect for the Military Road without overturning the policy and questioned how the decision was being made about whether or not it was worth saving the highway.

The council’s chief executive, Wendy Perera, said it wasn’t as simple as revoking the current policy but if the council was to look at revising it there would be a significant amount of work needed.

She said the council was hearing a dichotomy between investing in an engineering project for coastal defences versus the options around re-routing the road.

Mrs Perera advised the best place for the discussion was at the authority’s neighbourhoods and regeneration scrutiny, which is chaired by Cllr Nick Stuart, who is taking an active role in the debate for the Military Road as the road passes through his ward.

Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely is also calling for the policy to be overturned.

More from Isle of Wight News

Recently Played